Heirs to the Land summary and ending explained

Heirs to the Land or Los Herederos de la Tierra is a Spanish historical drama set in 14th century Barcelona, based on the happening life of a young man named Hugo. It is adapted from a novel by Ildefonso Falcones. All eight episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Heirs of the Land is a show focused on the events taking place in Hugo Llor’s life after Arnau Estanyol’s death.

Bernat Estanyol – who had been away in Constantinople, learns of his father’s execution and hurries home to check on his mother. Unfortunately, he only makes it after she had already passed.

Left with a burning desire for revenge, Bernat makes Hugo vow to kill the Puiges as he is taken away to serve his life sentence.

Hugo, who was against the idea of revenge, believes Bernat has passed away and is aided by Jucef, despite being a Christian. He develops feelings for Dolca, but their relationship was not meant to be due to their differing faiths. He also meets Regina there, from whom Hugo is advised to stay away by Dolca.

The Jewish quarters is raided by Christians, and Dolca was among the many who lost their lives. Hugo helps Jucef find the identity of the main perpetrator, who is publicly executed.

Meanwhile, Hugo’s only surviving family member – Arsenda – has become a woman of the cloth and he is not allowed to see her. Arsenda is pregnant with the “child of the devil”, and attempts to have it aborted.

However, Regina, who was helping the abbess carry out abortions, takes Arsenda’s baby to Hugo instead. However, he refuses and the baby is taken in by one of his slaves, Barcha.

A little before, Hugo was given vineyards by the family of Sal, one of the people who died in the Jewish quarters. He had become famous for his brilliant wine. At his vineyard, Hugo is visited by Guerao who informs him that Bernat is alive and wants aid in taking down Roger Puig’s ships.

Hugo is invited to work in the cellar in the palace by Mateo, on behalf of Roger. Forced to accept, he begins his work as a cellarman there and collects intel for Bernat. At the same time, Regina bonds with Hugo and he depends on her to write letters to Bernat as he is illiterate.

Hugo finds out about Roger’s plan to trap Bernat after the misfortune of his ships, and Mateo suspects Hugo as a traitor. Hugo travels to Valencia to warn Bernat of the trap, meeting him after years. When he returns, his treachery is exposed by Mateo and he is imprisoned but pleads innocent.

Regina convinces the lady of Hugo’s wrongful imprisonment, and Roger’s uncle – The Count of Navarcles – orders that Hugo is released.

Regina proceeds to threaten and blackmail Hugo into marrying her, costing him his beloved vineyards. He also frees his slaves, but Barcha stays to care for Arsenda’s child, Mercè.

After his uncle’s death, Roger is now the Count and orders Hugo to spy on his enemies. However, Hugo lies about the contents of messages that he receives from the lord.

Bernat is enraged when he discovers that Hugo has been working for Roger but did not kill him. Hugo reveals to him that he has proof of Roger’s treason against King Ferdinand – in whose Royal Navy Bernat now serves – in return for Bernat taking care of Mercè.

Bernat utilises this opportunity to expose Roger, who is killed by the public. As per his deal, he now takes Mercè under his care but Hugo is not allowed to see her within the palace walls.

Bernat and Mercè fall in love and get married, but tensions rise between the two when Regina reveals that Barcha had snuck into the church to see Mercè be wed, an offence that Bernat was unwilling to overlook.

He is advised to provide Hugo with a house and to work to win back Mercè’s affections.

Later, as King Ferdinand breathes his last, Bernat and Mercè welcome a son into their family – Arnau. Soon after, Mercè goes missing.

Omar reveals to Hugo that Barcha had found work under the Bishop and found out the identity of Mercè’s biological mother – a nun named Beatriz. She also learned that Regina had abducted Mercè. Barcha attempts to murder the bishop but is killed instead.

In pursuit of nun Beatriz, Hugo is reunited with Arsenda at the convent. However, when he finds out that she had ordered Regina to kill Mercè, he disowns his sister and resumes the search for Mercè.

When he finally finds her, Hugo attempts to kill Regina but she is captured by Bernat’s men first. The bishop reveals Mercè’s identity to him, and after a trial with the King, Bernat is advised to leave Mercè.

He also reports Regina, who is sentenced to isolation. Caterina – a trusted aide of Hugo, finds out that Regina had kept Mercè locked in a dungeon and Hugo rescues her.

Meanwhile, Regina had passed away.

Now free, Mercè wanted to be reunited with her son, however, she didn’t have the chance. She attended a procession of the King and saw that Arnau was with Marta – the woman that Bernat married after deciding to leave Mercè.

She sees Marta treating Arnau roughly and pushes her away to grab him, leading to punishment. The bishop convinces Bernat to spare Mercè’s life, but Hugo’s tavern would be burnt down by the army instead.

Jealous of the attention given to Bernat’s firstborn, and pregnant with his second child, Marta offers a poisoned dish to Arnau.

If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown.

Heirs to the Land ending explained in detail (Episode 8: Redemption):

Arnau’s rescue

Guerao finds out that Marta is dosing Arnau with poison in an attempt to slowly kill him and hatches a plan to save Arnau. He sneaks Hugo and Mercè into the castle. Caterina distracts the guards, giving them the chance to escape.

They send Arnau to Arsenda with Omar and a letter.

The next morning, Marta breaks into their tavern demanding Arnau back. Despite finding no evidence, the soldiers arrest Mercè. Marta ensures Guerao’s silence on the matter by hanging him in an empty street one night, disguising his death as a suicide. 

Bernat’s thirst for vengeance

Bernat returns to find his firstborn missing. He threatens to kill Hugo’s close ones if Arnau is not returned. Mercè confesses to hiding Arnau to protect him from Marta. 

Bernat refuses to leave the convent until Arnau is handed over. Hugo approaches Bernat to speak with him but they end up fighting. Their fight is interrupted by Arsenda who promises to return Arnau after Bernat reads the letter containing details of Marta’s treason. 

Bernat returns to Barcelona with Arnau. Furious, he makes his way to the Destorrent’s where Marta has retreated and threatens her family. Bernat writes his will to prepare for death. The queen asks him to resolve the matter peacefully but Bernat desires revenge. He is dismissed from his post for clearly stating his murderous intentions. 

During Mercè’s trial, Bernat tries to kill Marta and is slain in the process. Mercè, Hugo and Catrina find Bernat dying at the feet of a smiling Mary’s statue. In his final breaths, he asks for their forgiveness.

In his will, Bernat leaves all his property to Arnau and appoints Mercè as Arnau’s guardian. To Marta, he leaves whatever he is obliged to for a year in mourning and nothing other than her maintenance for that year. Bernat leaves Hugo enough money to repurchase the vineyards once owned by Jucef’s family. 

Mercè’s fate

On learning the truth about her parents, Mercè convinces Hugo to take her to her birth mother. She intends on showing her she does not deserve the title of ‘the daughter of the devil’. 

After taking Arnau from the castle, she is imprisoned. When Bernat visits her, she confesses to hiding Arnau at Arsenda’s convent. Her confession leaves her fate up to the church. 

At his meeting with the queen, Bernat is adamant about Mercè’s immediate release. The queen informs him that she is to give a test of God’s judgement, the ordeal of coals, to decide her fate. She is to walk on a path of burning coal.

Her trial is witnessed by Hugo and Catrina. After succeeding, she is deemed innocent and released. 

In the end, Hugo, Caterina, Mercè, and Arnau return to the vineyards. Hugo gifts Arnau a replica of the Mistral, Bernat’s ship. Mercè visits Arsenda’s convent regularly, slowly building their relationship.


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